Politics

Easy Money on Scooter Libby Pardon?

|

The futures trading site InTrade.com just opened a market on the likelihood of a pardon for the newly-convicted Scooter Libby.

InTrade lets you speculate on the likelihood of certain outcomes in current events, politics, markets, American Idol, even the weather. To make some easy money, just click on the "Legal" link on the far left side of the mainpage, and throw down some money on a Libby pardon. There is a catch: The market is for a pardon by the end of the year.

NEXT: The Young Folks Call It Country, The Yankees Call It Dumb

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. For getting convicted on lying about something that was not against the law he should have gotten a pardon before he left the courtroom.

  2. I agree with Guy.

    Perjury is what prosecutors charge you with when they can’t get you on a real crime.

    FREE ALGER HISS! FREE ALGER HISS!

    Say it with me, brother! FREE ALGER HISS! FREE ALGER HISS!

  3. And the difference between this and placing a bet on a pardon is…?

  4. 1. Alger Hiss ain’t getting any freer.

    2. Espionage is an actual crime, one which Alger Hiss was actually guilty of.

  5. Warren,

    Thank you. I almost responded to the troll, but you saved me 🙂

  6. One of two things happened. Either Libby has a rock solid pension headed his way (pardon plus an all you can eat, cast iron rice bowl good at any wingnut welfare outlet), or he tried to flip Cheney or Rove, but it was too late and / or he couldn’t deliver an unassailable proof. (Remember, Fleisher got immunity really fast.)

    The most ironic thing is that I don’t believe that Cheney, Rove, Fleischer, Armitage or Libby knew that Valerie Plame was a NOC, they were just trying to connect Wilson to the CIA (therefore untrustworthy because the CIA was at war with the OVP’s OSP) which was the meat of the leak. But the hook was that Wilson was just another pussy Dem who wasn’t man enough to get his gigs on his own and had to rely on his wife.

  7. But his name should be cleared. The failure to convict Hiss of the crime is clear evidence that no crime was committed!

    “Espionage is an actual crime,” So is violation of the covert identities statute.

    We KNOW Hiss didn’t commit any crime when he passed that information to the Soviets, because he was never convicted of it, just like we KNOW no crime was committed by blowing Plame’s covert identity, because no one was ever convicted of it.

  8. de stijl,

    Plame was not covert.

  9. FREE ALGER HISS! FREE ALGER HISS!
    FREE ALGER HISS! FREE ALGER HISS!
    FREE ALGER HISS! FREE ALGER HISS!
    FREE ALGER HISS! FREE ALGER HISS!
    FREE ALGER HISS! FREE ALGER HISS!

    Why am I doing this?
    I’ve got to stop listening to joe.

  10. Guy,

    I think that the CIA gets to decide that, not you or me. Since they asked the DOJ to investigate, it seems like they believe that she was.

  11. de stijl,

    C’mon. She was a blonde woman with children. A chick. A babe. A female.

    Isn’t that proof enough that no one she ever dealt with during her career investigating the Iranian nuclear program could possibly have been compromised by the disclosure of here identity?

    A chick, de stijl. Not a weener, a hoo-haw. Woman girly girly-girl soccer mom. With boobies.

  12. I think that the CIA gets to decide that, not you or me. Since they asked the DOJ to investigate, it seems like they believe that she was.

    Of course, that is why Libby was never charged with that serious crime, right? Just charged with his story not matching that of a reporter or two. Gotcha. My bad.

  13. I’m not sure about Scooter, but maybe George will pardon Ken Hovind as a goodbye kiss to the religious right.

  14. We don’t yet know why charges haven’t been brought on the underlying crime, although the statute in question has a very high intent threshold. The ratting out of one of our covert troops has to be done “for the purpose” of endangering her or blowing her cover, while in this case, it appears to have been done for the purpose of discrediting Wilson.

    But we don’t really know. Yet.

  15. Guy,

    I never said that Libby’s prosecution or conviction for perjury and obstruction was warranted or not.

    Plame’s employer believed that the leak of her identity and that she was an employee of the CIA was a violation of the IIPA and asked the DOJ to look into it.

    All the rest followed from that request.

  16. Akira,

    Who else will teach the kiddies that man and dinosaurs were buddies with cute little dioramas?

  17. Sorry to burst your big red bubble, joe, but Hiss wasn’t convicted of espionage because the statute of limitations had run out, not because they didn’t have ample evidence of his espionage. That’s why they went after him with the chickenshit perjury charge. It was the best they could do by the time they had a solid case.

  18. Rim – nevermind that shit. He’s talking about boobies!!!!!!!!!

    [jumps off cliff, high fives others who also have jumped]

    B
    O
    O
    B
    I
    E
    S

  19. “big red bubble”

    Thanks for letting know you can be ignored!

  20. Rimfax,

    I know that. I wasn’t actually claiming Hiss was innocent. I was aping the arguments of White House defenders, and subsituting Hiss’s name for that of Libby, Armitage, Rove, and Fleischer.

    The reason it works is because, in both cases, the absence of a conviction for the underlying crime has nothing to do with the absence of that crime being committed.

  21. Now I don’t know anything about Alger Hiss, but the Wikipedia entry seems to leave some doubt about his guilt/innocence.

  22. Irrespective of the Libby trial, every time I see Joe and Val on TV, I can’t seem to shake the immage of her as dominatrix and him as a leather-bound bottom, who delights in drinking her urine.

    Every time.

  23. I’m with you Moose. I’ll take the BOOBIES every day of the week and twice on Sunday

  24. “Of course, that is why Libby was never charged with that serious crime, right? Just charged with his story not matching that of a reporter or two. Gotcha. My bad.”

    There’s conceptually two parts to the IIPA. One part requires the agent to have been covert and have served outside the US within 5 years of the leak. (Contrary to Hack Toensing, the only requirement is for service, not being ‘stationed’ or ‘assigned’ in any long-term sense. A day trip to meet a contact in Montreal would suffice. Of course, because Toensing worked on drafting the law, we’re supposed to believe her when she goes on TV and lies about what the law says.)

    That could be easily and quickly determined back in 2003.

    The second conceptual part of the law all hinges on what the alleged leaker did, and gets into things like intent, pattern of leaks, etc. That’s much harder to determine and could only be determined once you have an idea of who divulged the information, and information about why they did it and what they knew. This probably can’t be determined (if at all) until late in the investigation, especially if the person being investigated lies to investigators and the grand jury.

    I think Armitage isn’t being prosecuted for it because the intention is missing, and possibly the knowledge that she was covert. On the other hand we know Libby knew she was in the covert Operations branch of CIA, because Cheney told him that.

  25. There’s good reason to believe that the Hiss case was a bit like the OJ case: the cops bent the rules in an effort to frame a guilty man. The FBI came up with critical new evidence between Hiss’s first trial (hung jury) and second, which is by itself suspicious, because the first trial came only after the most extensive investigation in the Bureau’s history at that time. The FBI would have known of classified information (the Venona cables) that fairly conclusively showed Hiss’s guilt, because they included descriptions by Soviet intelligence of an operative whose biographical details only match Hiss (present with Roosevelt at Yalta, etc.) The classified information could not be used in court without exposing sensitive intelligence. So the FBI suddenly came up with new stuff (a typewriter matching certain incriminating messages, etc.) and got the conviction. Hoover probably decided he was justified in faking evidence to replace the real evidence that he could not use. It’s an endlessly fascinating case; you can get lost in it, much like the Kennedy assassination.

  26. HI#,
    I can’t get your link to work. I’ll say this though; I can’t tell you why I love boobies, only that I do. I don’t like “enhanced” boobies. I like all natural. It’s also important that they’re attached to a female body. I’m not sure why exactly, but it’s very important.

  27. Oh. In that case, you might not have liked those.
    Picture pasty white torso of a chunky man. Wizened black hands covering what would be NSFW if on a woman.

  28. I agree with Guy.

    Perjury is what prosecutors charge you with when they can’t get you on a real crime.

    Two R C/joe agreements in one day!

    Hide the wimmin and children. Its the end times.

    Of course she wasn’t a NOC. Leaving aside the technical issue of whether she had the required overseas service, she drove to frickin’ CIA headquarters every day. Not real covert.

  29. RC: “she drove to frickin’ CIA headquarters every day”

    If you check the CIA site’s leadership bios, several of the top people are unidentified due to being classified. I’m guessing they probably work at HQ also.

    Also, the IIPA applies if the person traveled overseas within 5 years. So it wouldn’t really matter if Plame were working at HQ for the last 4.95 years before she was outed.

  30. “””Perjury is what prosecutors charge you with when they can’t get you on a real crime.”””

    No, perjury is what you get when you lie under oath about your envolvement in something that wasn’t a crime.

    If Clinton would have said “yeah, she blew me”, he would avoided lying to the grand jury about something that was not a crime.

    Same with Libby, if he would have just told the truth about his involvement, it would have been over months ago.

    I think most prejury cases when no crime was committed, share one thing. The subject felt his actions were wrong enough that they were compelled to lie to a grand jury where they knew it was a crime to do so.

  31. “The subject felt his actions were wrong enough that they were compelled to lie to a grand jury where they knew it was a crime to do so.”

    There’s also the possibility that he was told (or encouraged) to lie by someone he was protecting. And that he decided to do so because he thought no media figures would contradict his testimony.

    (Also, he didn’t just lie to the grand jury, he also lied to the FBI, outside of the grand jury.)

  32. Thanks for letting know you can be ignored!

    Ouch! joe hurt me……..

    C’mon, you gotta let me toss a little red bait around when you are playing Godwin with the old guilty-as-hell-despite-being-railroaded commies of yore.

    The reason it works is because, in both cases, the absence of a conviction for the underlying crime has nothing to do with the absence of that crime being committed.

    The main difference here is that in Hiss’s case, there was no legal way to charge him with the “real” crime. In Libby’s case, someone had to choose not to charge him with the “real” crime. Arguably, that could either be due to prosecutorial discretion or influence peddling, the former being a judgment that that the criteria for the “real” crime hadn’t been met and the latter being something akin to obstruction of justice. A perjury charge in the case of prosecutorial discretion may simply be a way of punishing obstruction-lite or a way of putting it to someone who is not guilty but is very “dirty”.

    joe, are you really working up to a defense of Martha Stewart here?

  33. One part requires the agent to have been covert and have served outside the US within 5 years of the leak.

    The text in bold print would indicate that both conditions need to be met, not one or the other. My reading would indicate that unless she had served covertly sometime in the 5 years prior to the leak, no crime had been committed. I’m willing to accept that you misspoke, however, if you meant something other than what I’m getting.

  34. Curses! Foiled by forgetting to change my nom de fluids!

  35. So, let me get this straight.

    Under this whacky fibbing law, some fed cop can come up to me and ask me if I have stolen a car.

    My response of “No” is recorded in notes to be used against me later.

    I am then accused of lying to the feds.

    No car can be proven to have been stolen and no collusion of mine to steal a car can be proven, because the standards for proving a car has been stolen are too high for me to be prosicuted for that infraction, so I am prosicuted for lying about stealing a car.

    I am then found guilty for a big fib about a stolen car, that nobody can prove was stolen because the standard of proof is too high for the lesser charge.

    Please, use this example to explain this to my backwards “socially southern” mind.

  36. J D Ripper writes: “The text in bold print would indicate that both conditions need to be met, not one or the other. My reading would indicate that unless she had served covertly sometime in the 5 years prior to the leak, no crime had been committed. I’m willing to accept that you misspoke, however, if you meant something other than what I’m getting.”

    Er, no, I meant what I said. The law requires that she have served, outside the country, under cover, within 5 years.

    Within 5 years of her outing, she had put her cover job as her employment for a political contribution, not ‘CIA’. So she was undercover at that point. (I believe this is still viewable in the opensecrets.org database)

    If she traveled outside the US for CIA work, during that time, she would have been doing so undercover.

    Note that she used her maiden name while undercover, with a fake employer and job. A fake name would be problematic for various reasons; for example, if she ran into someone she knew and that person tried to make conversation using her real name.

    So if she made a trip as a public CIA officer, it would be easy to connect her name to previous visits she made under cover.

  37. I am then found guilty for a big fib about a stolen car, that nobody can prove was stolen because the standard of proof is too high for the lesser charge.

    I am then found guilty for a big fib about a stolen car, that nobody can prove was stolen because the standard of proof is too high for the GREATER charge.

  38. Guy-

    Please, use this example to explain this to my backwards “socially southern” mind.

    Tim Russert said you stole the car… and the jury believed him.

    Case closed. :o)

  39. sfletcher,

    Ah, now I understand. ty

  40. Oh, and before any more fiction is spun here on this “leak”, Armatage was discovered to be the “leaker” and could not be prosecuted for the so-called leak.

    We know there was no crime.

  41. Let’s see if I have this right … both Libby and President Clinton lied to what many saw as partisan federal prosecutrs about non-crimes – right? There was never a prosecution of sexual harassment (Clinton) or the leaking Plame’s name (Armitage). So for all you Dems cheering this conviction, can you please explain to me why Clinton should not have also been convicted and removed from office by the US Senate.

    Posted By: drbillybob | March 06, 2007 at 05:01 PM

    I think Bush should pardon both Libby and Bill Clinton for perjury on the same day and we could all sit back and watch both parties destroy each other.

    Posted By: Foar & Balanced | March 06, 2007 at 04:11 PM

  42. Didn’t Clinton lie under oath during a sexual harassment trial?

    Maybe some think that should not be a crime, but it is at the moment.

  43. R C Dean,

    “Two R C/joe agreements in one day!

    Hide the wimmin and children. Its the end times.

    Of course she wasn’t a NOC. Leaving aside the technical issue of whether she had the required overseas service, she drove to frickin’ CIA headquarters every day. Not real covert.”

    1. You missed the sarcasm.

    2. What are you, the CIA’s HR Director?

  44. Guy Montag,

    It’s simple, really. We know you stole the car. The fact that you stole the car is not in doubt. There are numerous witnesses to you stealing the car, and what’s more, you gave the cops a story exonorating yourself, but it has been contradicted by witnesses.

    However, something about the auto theft laws in state made it impossible to charge you with the crime, even though it has been proven that you and your buddies broke into the car, hotwired it, and drove away.

    So the cops can’t charge you with stealing the car, but they can charge you with lying to them.

  45. BTW, Clinton paid a 90,000 fine and lost his law license, which is as it should be. He received a sentence commensurate with his crime.

    Scale that sentence up to take into account the much greater seriousness of the acts Libby was lying about, and justice will be done.

  46. Let me qualify my earlier request. Does some lucid and sane person wish to explain this to me?

    Armatige telling a reporter about Plame is as close to a “crime” as we have here, so let that equal the accusation of car theft. Turns out no car was stolen.

    Now, I am asked if I stole the car and I say “No”.

    I get convicted for lying about something that never happened.

  47. Guy,

    No, the car was stolen. It has been definitively established that Arimitage (and Libby, and Rove, and Fleischer) ratted out Plame to several reporters. The act took place.

    For reasons related to how the car theft law was drafter, you and your buddies breaking into the car, hotwiring, and driving away does’t meet the state’s definition of auto theft. Something about lacking the requisite intent – you only stole it take a joy ride, while the law requires the intent to profit, for example.

  48. Actually, sane will be just fine. That still leaves joe out. Sane is all I ask.

  49. That’s so funny, I almost didn’t notice that you have no answer.

  50. How about this…

    Armitage volunteers the information that he had driven a stolen car, but didn’t know it was stolen and thought he had permission, and didn’t at the time think it odd that he had to start the car with a screwdriver.

    Libby is also seen in the vicinity of the same car, with a friend, at a different time. And has been telling people about the stolen car he’s been driving. And Libby’s friend wrote things about getting the car. Libby and friend were not, however, seen breaking into it or hotwiring it. But he *was* caught wiping his and his friend’s fingerprints off the car, was heard asking about how to use a jimmy, and gave explanations that were contradicted by others.

    Armitage gets off because he can somehow prove that he had reason to believe the car was lawfully usable, and the DA goes easy on him because he came forward.

    But Libby successfully blocked the prosecutor from being able to prove if Libby or his friend actually stole the car.

    Just because Armitage told Novak and got off doesn’t mean Libby couldn’t have been prosecuted under IIPA. IIPA doesn’t require that the information be *published*, just that it be revealed. So if Libby was telling people about Plame before Novak’s column came out, he could still have been liable if Fitzgerald had been able to prove that Libby met the requirements of the IIPA.

  51. More simply: Take this version of events.

    1) Armitage hears, watercooler style, that Wilson’s wife is CIA and that the writing on the wall is it was a junket. He gets called by a few reporters and confirms that. He does not, at this point, realize she was undercover.

    2) Libby, deep in the smear-operating machine, learns about Plame in a way that makes it obvious she was undercover — say on a classified document with her identity in the classified section. He starts the talking points around, to reporters and to Armitage as well.

    Now, Armitage comes forward to Fitz and says “yeah, I passed this on. I didn’t know she was covert. It was just what I heard from Libby and Rove”.

    Libby and Rove both get asked and say “No, I didn’t know she was covert — we heard she was CIA from reporters asking questions”.

    Reporters get asked — they get forced to testify and say “No, we heard it from Libby, Rove, and Armitage”.

    Rove breaks and tells Fitz “I might have heard it from Libby before hand, but I swear I didn’t know she was classified — I misremembered”.

    Libby sticks with his story. Fitzgerald can prove he lied — and obstructed justice — and has a good idea of where he learned the info (from a classified document), but can’t prove (via IIPA) that Libby KNEW she was covert. But he can prove that Libby lied to him about where he learned it. He suspects that Dick knew she was covert as well, and was behind the pushback — but indicting Cheney even with Libby’s testimony would be dicey due to seperation of powers.

    Had Libby told the truth, he might or might not have ever faced charges — Fitzgerald might not have felt he could prove Libby knew (beyond a reasonable doubt) that she was covert. He might have proved espionage — Libby almost certainly knew the CIA had her name classified in the documents he saw — but there’s enough wiggle room for White House gossip to make that difficult.

  52. Hmm, did the White House people set Armitage up?

  53. Wow, you guys really have to jump through hoops to convict a guy of a noncrime. You ought to work for the government.

  54. “”””So for all you Dems cheering this conviction, can you please explain to me why Clinton should not have also been convicted and removed from office by the US Senate.”””

    I am a registered Democrat (albeit, I not in ideology, I voted for Bush in 2000). My view of the Clinton impeachment is simple, he lied to a grand jury and he deserved whatever punishment that comes after. That’s what you get when you lie under oath. I did think asking a question about sex in the oval office was out of bounds in a land deal investigation. He was set-up to lie and he fell for it, he shouldn’t of lied none the less.

    Libby was not “set-up” to lie. The question he lied about was directly related to the ongoing investigation. However these differences are moot because it’s not about the reason you lied, it’s about IF you lied.

    If we start allowing people to lie under oath, the whole system of justice starts to break down.

    To lie under oath is a crime within its self. Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time.

    I am not suprised that with the partisan hackery, both sides think they should be able to break laws, but they should have zero tolerance for the other side doing the same.

    The Democrats that cried foul about Clinton are just as wrong as the Republicans crying foul now. I think it speaks volumes about our government and ourselves when we actually argue against being truthful.

  55. Guy, lying to a grand jury IS a crime. The reason you appear in front of one is irrelevent. Besides, what do you have against being honest? Which Libby was not.

  56. “The Democrats that cried foul about Clinton are just as wrong as the Republicans crying foul now.”

    I don’t recall any Democrats crying foul about Clinton being fined an amount roughly equal to two typical families’ annual incomes and losing his license to practice law.

    Even the “radicals” at Moveon.org wanted Clinton censured by Congress.

    If Republicans were calling for Libby to be publicly rebuked by a Congress, to plead guilty to obstructing justice, and to pay a hefty fine, but thought that jailing him or (ok, there’s not really an equivalent to impeachment and removal from office for a VP’s Chief of Staff, but you get the picutre), then it would make sense to play “pox on both houses.” But they’re not – even with all the sordid facts out, they’re still insisting that Libby should walk scott free after repeatedly lying in Patrick Fitzgerald’s face.

  57. I think I’ll be the odd man out and bet Bush will not pardon him. I don’t think Bush will go from “firing anyone involved with a leak”, to pardoning someone who lied about their involvement with a leak.

    But we’ll see.

    “”” but indicting Cheney even with Libby’s testimony would be dicey due to seperation of powers.”””

    Not dicey at all, it was resolved when Paula Jones sued a sitting President (Clinton)for sexual harrassment. But I think your dead-on this one.
    “””Had Libby told the truth, he might or might not have ever faced charges””””

    Libby would not have faced any charges if he didn’t lie. That’s what you get for lying.

  58. Wow! I just saw on the Fox crawl that “Scooter” (how cute for a grown man, what would Anne say about his sexuality?) was found innocent of lying. Why aren’t you talking about that?

    “gulp-gulp-dribble-gulp”

  59. Hey,

    I don’t know if Libby should be pardoned or not; it’s a tough call. But I would like to point out to anyone who doesn’t know yet that someone put PardonLibby.org up for sale on eBay. I wonder what it’ll go for. Here’s the address:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=003&sspagename=STRK%3AMESE%3AIT&viewitem=&item=130088305011&rd=1&rd=1

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.